By: The Reel James –
The name’s Jones. Indiana Jones.
When Disney did a bit of digging between their couch cushions and found $4 billion, they went ahead and treated themselves to Lucasfilm. George Lucas had pretty much killed any excitement any of us felt for the galaxy far, far away, so the idea of the franchise getting new life in the hands of different creators was incredibly cool. What’s followed has been a frustrating lack of official announcements or news about the upcoming Episode VII, which JJ Abrams is bringing to theaters in December 2015.
BUT, that’s not why we’re here, folks. I’ll hold off on my Star Wars rants for another day, because Disney acquired the rights to another beloved franchise in that little purchase they made last year: Indiana Jones.
Yep, Indy now belongs to the house of mouse, and whether you like it or not, more films are coming. That’s just the way this works. The question is, will Harrison Ford return for Indy 5, donning the fedora once more, or will he pass the torch off to someone else?
According to Latino Review, Disney is currently weighing their options, and are still holding out hope that Ford will return for a fifth installment. However, the man is 71 years old, and since he’s expected to be in Episode VII, chances are he’ll be in his mid-seventies by the time cameras start rolling on Indy 5. I don’t know about you, but a geriatric Indiana Jones just doesn’t interest me. I saw enough of that in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and am holding out hope that the studio forgets that Shia Lebouf came anywhere near this franchise. The last thing we need is for Mutt to don his father’s fedora and go out on his own adventures.
That leaves option number two: Reboot. I know, no one really likes that word these days, because we get so damn many of them that it becomes a bit overwhelming. However, the idea of an Indiana Jones reboot is not that far-fetched, and honestly, is kind of exciting.
I know, I know. The Indy films are sacred. I love them. I really do. And I will always have a man crush on Harrison Ford. BUT, the studio can just give the character the James Bond treatment, recasting the role and continuing with the franchise, while still honoring what came before. I would argue that Indiana Jones is the American James Bond. He’s a smart, handsome, globetrotting adventurer with a penchant for the ladies. He also stars in films that are pretty much standalone stories.
According to Latino Review, Disney has a timeframe in mind for when they want things to start moving forward with Indy 5. If that doesn’t happen (which I think will be the case), then they are “100% willing” to recast the role and start fresh. I say go for it. It’s going to happen eventually. That’s just a fact. Disney stands to make too much money from this property to just sit on it forever in fear of upsetting die hard Indy fans.
Do you think people weren’t upset when they recast James Bond? Sean Connery was great as 007, but he did his time and left the role behind, and the franchise has been going strong for 50 years. That’s a long time. And it’s all because MGM was smart enough to see the potential in reviving the franchise every couple years, bringing on new talent and new directors, and making each film its own thing. Yes, there have been some bad Bond movies and some bad Bonds. But there have been some great ones too, and we’ve got more on the way. I say give Indiana Jones the chance to recapture some of that same magic.
Right now Bradley Cooper is reportedly at the top of the studio’s list for the part. I don’t know how I feel about that just yet. I like Cooper, I really do, but I prefer him in supporting roles. I just think he’s a better side character than the headliner, and can’t really picture him as Dr. Jones. However, I’ve been wrong before, and chances are the rumor will get debunked eventually anyway, so who knows. Personally, I’d prefer they go with a relative unknown for the part. No matter who they get, they’re going to run into backlash, so I say focus on casting the right actor, not an actor you think will sell tickets. Because the name Indiana Jones will ALWAYS sell tickets. Period.
Latino Review doesn’t name their source, and quite frankly they’ve been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to these rumors. So, there’s always the chance that all of this is hogwash anyway and we’re just going to get more Harrison Ford Indy films until the man dies and we replace him with CGI.
Personally, I think that making Indy the American Bond is the best possible idea for the character. And quite honestly, this is the only news about a fifth film that’s actually gotten me excited about it happening. And that’s coming from someone who actually kind of liked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.